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Which goes first?

Now that you’ve found the perfect bridal set for your soon to be fiance , you might be wondering what goes first, the wedding band or engagement ring? With so much conflicting information floating around out there, it can be hard for a fella to figure out. 

Plus, someday you might even have an eternity ring to throw into the mix to mark a marital milestone, like a first (or fiftieth) anniversary. That can add to the confusion as to which ring goes on first, and how sets like this should (or could) be worn. 

A Time-Honored Tradition is Wedding Ring First

Woman's left hand wearing The Evermore set on ring finger

Rings: The Evermore set

Wearing the wedding band first hails back to Ancient Egypt. The Egyptians believe in something called the “vein of love” that went from the left ring finger, directly to the heart. Obviously science does not support this particular theory, but the tradition remains. 

The idea is that you wear the wedding band as a symbol of your love and devotion for eternity closest to your heart. During the wedding, it’s common to move the engagement ring to the right hand during the ceremony, then back to the left ring finger once you’re married and the wedding ring in its proper place. 

Shop His and Hers Wedding Rings & Bands (Sets)

A More Recent Tradition is Engagement Ring First

Woman's left hand wearing The Amore set on ring finger

Rings: The Amore set

There’s nothing wrong with wearing the rings this way. The logic behind it is a woman wears the wedding ring set in the order they were received. Since the engagement ring comes first, it makes sense that it is worn at the top of the finger, with the wedding band snuggled up beneath it. There’s symbolism in this as well, alluding to the promises made with the engagement ring, and the wedding ring bringing on the fulfillment of those promises you’ve made to your bride.  

The Non-Traditional Route

The Rose engagement ring

Ring: The Rose

Some brides elect to wear the wedding ring on one hand, usually the left ring finger, and the engagement ring on the other hand, usually the right. This could be because the rings are not a set and therefore don’t match well, or it could be because your bride-to-be doesn’t like wearing multiple rings on one finger and “stacking” them. 

Whatever the reasoning, there’s nothing wrong with wearing them this way, it’s just not quite as common. Some brides find their wedding ring is so dazzling, they don’t want to detract from it in any way! 

Woman's left hand wearing The Forever band on ring finger

Ring: The Forever

It’s not always a question of is the wedding band on to or bottom? Sometimes it’s a question of which finger and which hand. Other non-traditional ways to wear engagement rings and wedding bands is by alternating when they are worn. 

Perhaps the wedding ring is extremely valuable, whereas the engagement ring is less of a fiscal investment. Your bride might prefer to only wear the wedding band on special occasions to keep it as safe as possible, and wear her engagement ring the rest of the time for daily wear.

Shop His and Hers Wedding Rings & Bands (Sets)

What About Eternity Rings?

Woman's left hand wearing The Eternity band on ring finger

Ring: The Eternity

Eternity rings are usually given later in marriage, once a couple reaches a special milestone. It could be the arrival of a first child, it could be your first anniversary, it could be the day your first child graduates from high school. These are monumental moments in the lives of couples, and eternity rings are meant to mark those moments of love with remembrance. 

Many women choose to wear their eternity rings on their left hand ring finger along with their bridal set, while other women choose to wear their eternity rings on the right hand. Some say they should be worn on the middle finger, while others don’t really care either way. There aren’t any set traditions when it comes to eternity rings, so there’s plenty of freedom to make up your own management ring rules.

Woman's left hand wearing a stack of Promise bands on ring finger

Rings: The Promise

There are always those brides who choose to wear their engagement rings and weddings bands on whatever finger they want, whether it’s a wedding band, an engagement ring, eternity ring, or something else. Thereby thumbing their noses at all hints of traditionalism as they blaze new trails into marital etiquette. There’s really no right or wrong answer unless you are a firm advocate of tradition. If tradition is your jam, rules follow. 

In that case, does the wedding band go on first? Why yes, yes it does. All else is relative.